Christmas book shopping with Obama


In your bookish links for the day, we’re talking about Christmas shopping for the book nerds in your family. Obama celebrated Shop Local Saturday this past weekend by patronising his local book store, Politics and Prose, and crossing seventeen items off of his Christmas list.

And it’s a great list! I’m going to assume he bought Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal for himself, and not as a gift. Barack – that’s on my reading list too! You guys know Gawande, right? He writes for the New Yorker, usually about medicine. He is one of those writers who is so good and interesting that you always go back and check to see the name of the author when you finish one of his pieces. As your gateway drug I’d recommend Big Med, a piece he wrote likening The Cheesecake Factory to big healthcare chains. But you should really, really also read Personal Best, a piece about coaching for surgeons. Oh my goodness and Hot Spotters, about the use of Big Data in designing health care systems. I’m going to close the tab on my computer that lists all of his articles before I assign you a 100,000 word reading list. Gawande is great, is what I’m saying.

Also on Barack’s list is All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Good pick. Do you think it’s for him, or for Michelle? Or maybe Malia? I like that idea. He also purchased a bunch of Brian Jacques books from the Redwall series. It’s a children’s fantasy series where most of the characters are rodents. That put a smile on my face – I’ll bet those books are delightful.

I managed to hit up Toronto’s Type Books for Shop Local Saturday and while I’d already spent my personal book budget for the month (more on that later) I did pick the Canadian classic The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier for my 3 year old nephew. Only twenty-four days until I get to sit in a big chair and read it to him.


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